How to Write a Business Plan
5: Operations Plan 


In the Operations section of your business plan, show your potential investors that you have truly considered all the practical aspects of running your business. In this section, put some specifics around such aspects of the business as location, equipment needs, labor requirements, and so on.

Your operating plan should address all stages of running your business, including:

  • Product development. Include a summary of all product development activities that the company will undertake, both before bringing the product to market as well as ongoing development activities. In other words, what needs to happen before you have a product designed, tested, manufactured, and ready to sell to the customer? Once you have brought your product to market, what activities does your company need to engage in to ensure that your product remains competitive in the marketplace? If you are in a very competitive industry, you will likely need to devote a considerable amount of ongoing resources to research and design.

What is the Operations section of a business plan and what's its purpose?
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  • Manufacturing. Include a clear description of the manufacturing process. Show that you understand the techniques, plant, equipment, materials, and labor required to make your product. Discuss the business's production rates and any constraints on productive capabilities. What level of demand can your production capabilities support? Conversely, how would your production operation be impacted by lower-than-expected demand for your product?

  • Maintenance and support. Here, discuss any post-sale support your company will provide to your customers and document the resources required to provide that support. For example, a software company might need to provide ongoing help-desk support for their software, or provide patch and update support. How will you get that service to your customers? Will you staff a call center? Will you provide online support?